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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-07-02                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Maj. David Murray, 817-223-0160, david.murray@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 2, 2013
Game Wardens Investigate Fatal Boating Accident at Lake Fork
AUSTIN -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Game Wardens are investigating a double fatality boating accident on Lake Fork.
The incident involved two vessels and occurred Monday at about 8:45 p.m. Both vessel operators were killed. A passenger in one of the vessels was severely injured and transported by helicopter from the scene to a Dallas area hospital. The names of the victims have not been released.
One of the vessels involved sank at the scene and will be raised with specialized lift bags and then towed to shore for further investigation.
Game Wardens activated their statewide Dive Team and Accident Reconstruction Team. Game Wardens are working with the Wood County Sheriff's Department.
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
July 2, 2013
Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Season to Open July 15
AUSTIN -- The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will open 30 minutes after sunset Monday, July 15. The opening date is based on an evaluation of the biological, social and economic information to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public.
In making its determination, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available scientific information including samples collected by using trawls and bag seines in TPWD routine data collection.
The purpose of the closed Gulf season is to protect brown shrimp during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico until they reach a larger, more valuable size before harvest and to prevent waste caused by the discarding of smaller individuals.
Federal waters (from 9 to 200 nautical miles offshore) will open at the same time that state waters will open. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose to adopt rules compatible with those adopted by Texas.
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.govShelly Plante, TPWD, (512) 389-4500 or shelly.plante@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 2, 2013
Beat July Heat with a Canoe, Kayak Outing
AUSTIN - Join one of the fastest-growing segments of outdoor recreation and have some cool summer fun by kayaking or canoeing dozens of Texas' easily accessible and scenic waterways in a state park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has made it easier than ever to find that perfect spot to get a close-up look at nature by paddling on more than 50 marked and well-mapped Texas paddling trails offering everything from bayou, river and lake routes to sojourns through salt-sprayed coastal bays. For trail maps and photos, where to rent canoes and kayaks, directions to access sites and fishing and wildlife information, visit: www.tpwd.texas.gov/paddlingtrails.
Families looking to flee the city for outdoor summer fun can readily access a number of nearby spots. There are seven Texas PaddlingTrails within an hour of Austin, eight Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Dallas/Fort Worth, four Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Houston and six Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of San Antonio.
"Texas communities love this program, which has experienced huge growth in the past five months," says Shelly Plante, nature tourism manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "We've gone from 38 trails to 55 since February and have another two dozen proposed trails in various stages of the certification process."
Just this past May, Plante says seven new trails - three on Belton Lake south of Waco and four along the Brazos River -- were added to the Texas Paddling Trails roster. The 35.4 miles of Brazos River trails, known as the Stephen F. Austin Paddling Trail, represents the longest continuous stretch of river trails launched to date.
Because many parts of Texas are experiencing drought conditions, it's always a good idea to consult online specific river flow information (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/habitats/rivers/flow/) in advance and to contact the Texas State Park you're planning to visit for current lake levels and other water conditions. Keep in mind that water levels at some state parks, such as Inks Lake and South Llano River, remain fairly constant despite ongoing drought.
Paddling novices looking for helpful tips before heading out, can watch a how to paddle a canoe video or read a Canoeing and Kayaking 101 brochure.
Paddlersshould keep in mind that open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, bays, bayous, ponds, oceans) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and therefore warrant extra precautions. The key differences are that there are no lifeguards; water conditions can change rapidly and underwater currents sometimes exist. The bottom line is all paddlers should wear a life-jacket.
In Texas,children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket. In addition, all vessels less than16 feet in length, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V for each person on board.
Before you paddle make sure you have reviewed these informative safety websites: Wear it Texas (http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com/) and Nobody's Waterproof (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/boater_education/nw_whatis.phtml).
For downloadable Texas paddling images, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=oam_paddling
To view a YouTube paddling video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw5MEKxNiJE&feature=youtu.be
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